Driven by the requirements for high-speed data rates, fiber optic deployment has been developed. When the development of fiber optic cable is installed, the management of optical transmission networks becomes more difficult.


Many factors need to be considered in the process of optical fiber travel, such as flexibility, future viability, deployment and management costs, and so on. Lower and higher flexibility, different optical distribution frames (ODF) are widely used for fiber optic connectors and schedules.


Choosing the right fiber optic distribution frame is the key to successful cable management. So what is a distribution cabinet? How do the distribution frames work? What is the importance of optical distribution frames?


1. What is ODF?


Optical Distribution Frame (ODF) is the frame used to provide cable connection between media, can integrate cable connection, fiber connector, adapter, and fiber connector and cable connection together. in one unit. It can also act as a protective device to protect fiber optic connections from damage.


The basic functions of ODF provided by vendors today are almost the same. However, they have different shapes and specifications. To choose ODF is not an easy thing.


2. The basic structure of ODF


A full optical distribution frame includes the following components:


- Optical distribution box: depending on the capacity and needs of users, there are different types of boxes.


Example: Optical distribution box with small capacity such as 2FO, 4FO, 8FO is often used indoors and is made of plastic. Higher capacity types such as 12FO, 24FO, 48FO .... are usually made of steel to ensure durability and are placed outdoors.


- Optical welding tray


- Pigtal optical welding wire


- Adapter optical connector


- Screws to attach ODF to cabinets, walls, ...


Optical distribution cabinet contains optical fiber wires and internal fiber optic welds, one end of the pigtail optical fiber soldered to the fiber optic cable, the other end of the pigtail optical wire is plugged into the adapters, then optical fiber jumper wire patchcord connects from the adapter to optical devices.


3. Classification of optical distribution cabinets


According to the structure, ODF can mainly be divided into three categories, that is ODF on the wall, ODF on the floor and ODF mounted on the price.


ODF wall-mounted usually uses a small box-like design that can be installed on the wall and is suitable for small yarn distribution.


ODF mounted on the sieve through a closed structure. It is usually designed with relatively fixed fiber capacity and good appearance.


ODF mounted on the price is usually modular in design with a solid structure. It can be installed on the rack with more flexibility according to the number and specifications of fiber optic cable. This type of optical distribution system is more convenient and can provide more possibilities for future variations.


According to the application of optical distribution, ODF is divided into 2 types: ODF indoor and outdoor ODF


ODF in the home includes 2FO, 4FO, 8FO optical distribution box and 12Fo, 16FO, 24FO, 48FO, 96FO made of iron shell.


Outdoor ODF including optical distribution boxes of 8FO, 12FO, 16FO, 36FO, 48FO, 64FO, 72FO, 96FO, 144FO, 288FO. Due to the difference in location as well as the operating environment, the outdoor optical distribution box has a unique design and is slightly different from the indoor optical distribution boxes. The most outstanding feature is the box thickness and a waterproof design that helps the devices (welds) to be better protected.


4. The importance of optical distribution cabinets


The choice of ODF is not limited to structure, many factors such as applications should be considered. The most important ones are as follows.


The number of fibers: with the number of fiber connections in places such as data centers increases, high-density ODF needs become the trend. And very popular to find ODF with 24FO, 48FO or even 144FO for fiber optic cable on the market today. Meanwhile, many suppliers can provide customized ODF according to customer requirements.


Management ability: High density is good but management is not easy. The basic requirement is that ODF must allow easy access to the connectors on the front and back of those ports to insert and remove. This requires ODF to devote enough space. In addition, the color of the adapters installed on ODF must match the color code of the fiber optic connectors to avoid false connections.


Flexibility: as mentioned, ODF is relatively flexible in applications with a modular design. However, another aspect that can increase the flexibility of ODF is the port size for adapters on ODF.


Protection: optical distribution frame integrates fiber optic connections in it. Optical fiber connections such as couplings, fiber optic connectors are very sensitive throughout the transmission network and directly related to the stability and reliability of the network. Therefore, a good ODF should have protective equipment to prevent fiber optic connections from dust or stress damage.


5. Conclusion


ODF is the most popular and comprehensive fiber distribution frame that can reduce costs and increase the reliability and flexibility of fiber optic networks in both deployment and maintenance. High-density ODF is the trend in the telecommunications industry.


Choosing ODF is very important and complex, requiring full consideration including application and management. Factors such as structure, number of fibers and protection are just basic elements.


ODF can meet current needs and promise their importance in the future without sacrificing cable management or density that can only be chosen with repeated and fully reviewed comparisons.

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